Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday came out in support of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and termed the Election Commission’s ban on campaigning in the state "unfair". Accusing the poll body of "acting under pressure", Mayawati said that the Election Commission banned campaigning from 10 pm in the night today because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies in the day.
"Election Commission has banned campaigning in West Bengal, but from 10 pm today just because PM has two rallies in the day. If they had to ban then why not from today morning? This is unfair and EC is acting under pressure," she said.
Referring to the Tuesday’s violence during Amit Shah’s roadshow, the BSP chief said that the BJP president and the prime minister were targeting Mamata Banerjee in a planned manner, which, she said, was a "dangerous trend".
"It is clear that PM Modi, Amit Shah and their leaders are targeting Mamata Banerjee, its planned targeting. This is a very dangerous and unjust trend and one which doesn't suit the PM of the country," Mayawati said.
The Election Commission on Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 PM on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and Trinamool workers in Kolkata.
In a hurriedly-convened press conference, Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar said it was for the first time that such an action has been taken using constitutional powers of the poll panel.
The Election Commission (EC) also ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director General, CID, Rajeev Kumar from their postings in West Bengal.
The decision of the poll body came after violence broke out between the BJP and TMC workers during the Kolkata roadshow of BJP president Amit Shah. A scuffle broke outside the Calcutta University campus on College Street, when student activists of both the Left and the TMCP shouted slogans against Shah.
The BJP workers allegedly attacked the TMC student activists after they showed black flags and waved posters with "Amit Shah go back" written on them while the BJP leader's convoy was passing in front of Vidyasagar college.